Geek Squad is a popular tech support service offered by Best Buy. It provides on-demand assistance for customers who need help with their devices, software, or accounts.
However, not everyone who claims to be from Geek Squad is a legitimate technician. Scammers have been known to use this service to trick unsuspecting users into paying for fake services, giving away personal information, or allowing remote access to their devices.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the Geek Squad scam and explain how it works and how to protect yourself.
How the Geek Squad scam works?
In the Geek Squad scam, criminals pretend to be tech support and will contact you via email. They will try to force you to respond to the email or a call. For example, they may email regarding a new offer or that your membership is about to expire. Or, they will say that your device has some problem you must fix ASAP.
This scam is a phishing scam where the attackers steal personal data while impersonating people from a trusted organisation. You should take this scam seriously, as phishing attacks are on the rise and have affected many big organisations.
Whatever the case, they only want you to respond to those emails. Once you have replied to the scammer, they will try to achieve one of the following goals:
- Get you to pay for a fraudulent service or subscription using your credit card, bank account, or gift card.
- Get you to provide your personal information, including bank details, name, address, etc.
- Get them remote access to your device. This is dangerous because they might install malicious codes into your device after getting control and steal your data and files. They can also lock down your computer and demand a ransom.
What makes the Geek Squad scam dangerous is that the scammers here can be very convincing as they already have a spoofed email address and phone number that look like they are from Best Buy or Geek Squad.
Moreover, the scammers can also use logos and graphics and talk in a language that mimics the official website or communication.
Also read: How to identify WhatsApp scams?
How do you detect Geek Squad scams?
Some signs can help you spot and avoid the Geek Squad scam:
- Understand that Geek Squad will never unsolicitedly contact you by email, text, or phone. If you receive an unexpected message from Geek Squad, do not reply or click on any links in the email.
- Geek Squad will never ask you to pay for a service or subscription using gift cards. Gift cards are a common payment method for scammers because they are untraceable and irreversible. Take note of this fact.
- Reputable services like Geek Squad never ask for personal information or account details. If someone asks for your personal information, that person is a scammer.
- Moreover, Geek Squad will never ask you to grant remote access to them without proper verification and consent. If someone is in a hurry for remote access, report them ASAP.
- Check the sender’s email address and the URL before clicking on it. Just hover your mouse’s cursor over the link to see a full link at the bottom of your screen. Usually, phishing scammers will send you spoofed addresses that look like authentic website links. However, a character may be misplaced or added or an extra character or symbol.
- Phishing messages will also use an urgent or threatening tone. They can even congratulate you on winning something you never even heard of. Avoid such emails and block the sender.
- Also, pay attention to the grammatical errors in the email message. Usually, you will find one or two of those easily.
- Download any reputable anti-virus and run a scan of your system.
If you follow these steps, you will easily detect phishing scams like Geek Squad scam and other such attack on your system.
Also read: Is McAfee a scam?
What to do if you have been scammed?
If you believe that you’re a victim of the Geek Squad scam, worry not, as there are a few steps that you can promptly take to protect yourself:
- The first thing you should do is call your bank and block your credit card or account.
- If you have opened a link from the email, immediately run a system scan for malware.
- If you have divulged any sensitive personal information like your social security number, driver’s license, or passport number, immediately call the relevant authorities and report them of an impersonation fraud. One such organisation is the Federal Trade Commission. You can report on their website here.
- Lodge a first information report (FIR) to the cyber security department of your country or region.
- Change your passwords and login details immediately.
If you’re a victim of the Geek Squad scam, following the above steps will help you greatly.